T Nation

Weak Bench Press


Hello, im a 83kg powerlifter, My bench press is a big problem for me and I don’t know how can I fix it I have tried lots and lots of program. my squat is around 210kg my deadlift is around 230kg but my bench press is 115kg. I have done Beyond 531 it was good but not for my bench to be honest. I was thinking of running Building the Monolith. what do you think ? any other recommendation?


Hve you tried some volume stuff for the bench? 5’s pro + bbb for couple cycles?

Also: https://jimwendler.com/blogs/jimwendler-com/101083398-all-about-the-bench-press


115 is a good bench for 83 class. If you’re that bothered though, up frequency (FSL + Joker Sets), use bench as an accessory to overhead days, use variations or push assistance exercises more in order to build more muscle. Numbers look finer than a summer day though, mate


GAIN WEIGHT really… is the easiest option.

Second, proper programming.

5/3/1 gives you a GREAT frame to work with. But for best results you need to create your own 5/3/1 template based on your own weaknesses.The stronger you are, the more important this is.

So you must an accurate estimate your own weaknesses first (This is the hardest part for most ppl) then you need to select the appropriate exercises to improve your weak points.

for example
It was always strange to me why my strict OHP is so strong comparing to my bench (300lbs OHP, 400lbs bench) I found that Barbell always stick somewhere between 3/4 - 4/5 of the bench press.+ I never do any direct triceps work before, so it’s a clear case - Lagging triceps.
So I cut a few set of chest/shoulder work here and there and I add 4-6s of heavy direct triceps work per every upper body day. And now im breaking all my rep PRs, and im preparing for new big 1rm :).

This is a clear case ofc, but if you focus on wrong muscle group, guess what…no progress.


One recurring suggestion by strong benchers that I’ve read many times is to strengthen triceps, seems you can’t go wrong with that. Close grip bench press seem to be the way to go.
Another thing I’ve been told by a coach in my gym (who benches 150kg with pause at about your bodyweight) is to strengthen the back, too. Not just the lats (with your Deadlift number I think your lats are on point already), but traps and rear delts too


Put on more muscle mass. I would give yourself a short amount of time (about 3 years) to really focus on this. In the meantime, make sure you are eating to do this (this means over the next 3 years, you have 90-95% perfection in diet/sleep). Also, be sure you do this along with proper strength programming for all the lifts. It’s very easy to do and only takes a few years of true dedication.